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society, this denominates it a crime of the highest magnitude. Murder is an injury to the life of an individual; but the law of fociety considers principally the lofs, which the state sustains by being deprived of a member, and the pernicious example thereby set for others to do the like.”
I take it for granted, that few or none The groffer and of 'my readers will be either fo circumstanced crimes known or disposed, as to stand in need of information or admonition to avoid the more common, gross, and notorious treasons, felonies, and misdemeanors, which generally make up the black catalogues of our criminal code. As little do we expect to find a man within the circle of our acquaintance ignorant, that rebellion, murder, forgery, and theft are cri. minal in the eye of the law, as we do to find him difposed to become guilty of them.
It cannot be denied, but that there are some actions fome less considerate statutes still remaining heinous as to in our written code of law, that have ren- punishmento dered certain actions capitally criminal, that in their nature do not appear to carry with them that heinousness of guilt, as to require for atonement the blood of the delinquent; fuch amongst others are * breaking down the
scem not so
*9 Geo. I. c. xxii.
mounds of a fish pond, or cutting down a fruit tree in an orchard, or a shrub in a pleafure ground. Such actions cannot certainly be committed without some civil injury being done thereby to our neighour; and the necessary premonitions against them will be more properly enforced and better received from the pulpit or the bench, than from private lecture. We do not however arrogantly 'upbraid or question the power of parliament, that once found it expedient to enact these laws, but with Judge Blakiston we hint it with decency to those, whose itations enable them to judge, that this great rigour may be no longer necessary to preDaily experience shews, that habit fami- We easily fa
yent the mischief, Epidemic rage - My primary object in making this pub.
lication is to settle and reconcile the minds of my countrymen to the present form of our constitution and government. I find many of them seized with an epidemic rage for illumination. The malady in its highest pároxism is of no dangerous tendency, unless injudiciously treated; a fair practitioner cannot fail from improving the constitution of his patient by the application of the most sinple of all remedies; but the noxious draughts of the empyric will assuredly render the disease irremediable,
miliarize with diarizes us to the most dangerous and treinen, the most terrie
fic objects, dous objects. Discourses upon the most terrific subjects by frequency lose all their horror. An artful envelop will convey the most diffolute sentiment to the chastest heart; and a sentimental disguise wil sometimes lodge the very rankest treason in a breast of unsullied loyalty. Loud is the cry of duty upon every one, who sees his neighbour exposed to the danger, to found the alarm. Which of you, my countrymen, could look unmoved upon your child, your friend, your love, in the act of tasting a fair tempting fruit, which you knew contained a deadly poison ? · Cicero faid truly, ea sunt cnimadvertenda peccata maximè, que difficillime præcaventur*; Greatest cau.
tion to be had those crimes are to be the most loudly cen against milsured, which are the most difficult to prevent. the least luf. . When therefore I perceive many of my fel. low citizens seduced by the false reasoning of certain modern publications, first into difcontent and contempt of government, then into the most treasonable wishes for its utter subversion, how are we to prevent these fentiments from breaking out into overt acts of rebellion, but by dragging forth from his
chiefs that are
* Pro Sexto Roscio, 40.
traitorous cell of darkness the lurking spirit of seduction ? Exposed to the broad day light of the British constitucion, his hideous, deformity will overwhelm with horror the very dupes of his artful disguise.
According to the principles already laid down, there can be no greater coercion upon subjects to obey the laws of their country,
than what is imposed by our constitution. Injuries done to As each individual gives his affent to every by the violation law, so has he an interest in their observance of the laws.
and preservation. Every sort of condemnation, resistance, and opposition to the law, is an injury to those, who enacted it; the contempt of magistrates is an insult to the community, whose delegates they are; the impeachment of their authority is an arraignment of the power of the people, who gave it; and a disrespect for the king is the most direct contempt of the people, whose majesty
is collected in his awful personage. Self protecting The grand protecting principle of our conrights of the community.
stitution is, not to permit an injury without a remedy; nor can it be conceived, that the constitution itself, which is the fource and reservoir of all the laws and rights of the people, should leave itself and the community fo unprotected, as to be unable to preserve the collective corporate rights of the whole,
whilft it enables individuals to preserve their subordinate rights, which spring out of them.
It is evident, that whoever has a right to · be protected, has a transcendent right to preserve the means of his protection. The The preservarights and liberties of Englishmen can only rights depends be protected by the constitution and govern- gy of government; and they can no longer protect, than" they preserve their respect, vigor, and energy. It is not only the interest, but the duty of every Englishman to support and preserve them; and therefore political criminality cannot be carried to a higher pitch, than a determined intention, desire, and attempt to vilify, weaken, and overturn the constitution and government. If the mind be clearly bent upon the mischief, the means adopted to bring it to bear are very immaterial ; though no means can be more obnoxious, than attempts to infect the minds of others with the deadly contagion, by spreading it as widely as possible, in books disguised under delusive and insidious titles. For confident I Seditious books am, that few of my countrymen would read, delufive titles. much less would they encourage and promote the circulation of any book, which bespoke upon the face of it an avowed intention and design of traducing, disturbing, and
tion of our
upon the enero